The Late News

Gary Blankenburg

It had been a long long party
& everyone had left
except the four of us-
her husband had passed out
hours ago & was asleep
in my bed.
My wife had followed
after the rest had bellowed
their good-byes
& their tail lights had faded
into the night,
so now she lay sleeping
on one side of the bed
& Pam's husband snored away
on the other.

The two of us were matching
each other scotch for scotch
& had become
sloppy drunk & lascivious.
We locked eyes
across the dining room table
while the television droned on
unwatched in the living room.

Eventually we made our way
to the couch & drunkenly
attempted to fuck but
the couch was too narrow
& we ended up on the floor
under the tv. Finally
I got it in & began to stroke
her nicely as she moaned,
her yellow hair fanned out
behind her head & gleaming
in the flickering light.

I watched the set in order
To prolong things,
& just when I was close to coming,
the newscaster broke in
to announce that Bobby Kennedy
had just been shot dead.
I went soft immediately & rolled off.
She sat up & asked what he hell
was wrong. Then the phone rang.

I pulled my pants up
& answered it, motioning her
to get herself together because
the phone had evidently awakened
both of our spouses. I heard rustling
in the next room & imagined
them sitting up abruptly,
finding each other, & wondering
what the hell had brought them
to the same bed.

The call was from one
of the party goers who was phoning
from a bar where he had stopped
on the way home. Well they killed
his little brother too, he slurred.
I told him that I had already
heard the terrible news. As
I was putting the phone down
the sleepy couple emerged
from the bedroom. The husband
sheepishly sat down on the sofa
with his wife who was by this time
fully dressed. I told my wife
that Bobby was dead. She cried.

The four of us broke out
a new bottle & drank & watched
the developments on television until dawn.
Finally, the two of them thanked us
for the good time they assuredly had
had, at least until the news of the assassination,
got into their Volvo, & roared out of the drive.
My wife & I left the house the mess it was,
went to bed, turned our backs to one another,
& slept the sleep of the dead.

 

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